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What are Solar Panels?

Solar Panels, which are scientifically known as Photo-voltaic module (PV), generate electric current by using sunlight as an energy source.

A photo-voltaic module (PV) contains lots of photo-voltaic cells assembled together in the form of a plate. Photo-voltaic cells work on the principle of the Photovoltaic effect. The Photovoltaic effect is the generation of electric potential/current and voltage due to the presence of light. Many of such Photovoltaic cells combine to form a solar panel.

Working of Solar Panels

When sunlight is exposed to the solar panel, the particles of lights (photons) displace the electrons from the affected atoms. These electrons then cause a flow of electricity.

Basically, a photovoltaic cell, also called a solar cell, is a two-layered constituent of two distinct semi-conductors joined together at a junction.

Silicon is the most commonly used material used in solar cell.

Silicon is used because it has photovoltaic capabilities as it can absorb sunlight and convert it into electricity.

A few other cellular processes (the use of the silicon layer at the junction and the electric field produced due to it there) turn these electrons into electricity. On the sides of the cell, the metal plate absorbs the electrons and conducts them to wires. From that point on, the electrons behave just like in other forms of electricity (Dhar, 2017).

Solar Panels for use in home and office

Solar Panels have been getting very popular to generate a source of electricity that is much cheaper than other forms of electricity. Particularly in the regions where the summer season is much prolonged than the winter season.

Solar Panels produce DC electricity which is converted into AC by the use of solar inverters. The home and office appliances run on AC electricity and the electricity which is not used is stored in a battery or grid for later use (EnergySage).

Things to look for when buying solar panels for your home and office

Price of the Solar panel

Price is of course the first consideration that anybody would be making before purchasing a solar panel system. Comparing market prices by doing a little survey is always a good tip before buying.

If a vendor or supplier is giving you cheaper prices as compared to others, be very cautious of the quality of the panels that you are getting. He might be compromising on the quality, and you should never want low quality. The durability and efficiency of the solar panels will depend on their quality.

Always remember that Solar Panel’s efficiency should never be compromised which is its ability to convert the input into output (i.e. sunlight into electricity).

Solar Inverter

Solar inverters convert the DC electricity to AC which becomes suitable for use in home and office. The quality of solar inverter is very important as well. A quality solar inverter will waste less electricity and thus save you money.

Solar Panel Position and Size

Another thing to look for before buying a solar panel is its size and positioning. You need to place your solar panel in a position where it will be exposed to maximum sunlight for the maximum time.

The size of the solar panels is crucial as well as it should be compatible with the size of the roof that they are going to be installed on (AztechSolar). 

Warranty of Solar Panel

Buying the solar panels which have longer periods of warranty is always a safe bet in case of any operational problem with the panels as they can be returned or replaced.

There are also performance warranties that should be availed. If the solar panel is not performing as promised by the supplier or vendor, that can be replaced (EnergyMatter).  

References

  1. AztechSolar. (2019). 4 KEY FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING SOLAR PANELS. Retrieved from https://www.aztechsolar.com.au/4-key-factors-to-consider-when-buying-sola
  2. Dhar, M. (2017). How Do Solar Panels Work? LiveScience. Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/41995-how-do-solar-panels-work.html#:~:text=Simply%20put%2C%20a%20solar%20panel,smaller%20units%20called%20photovoltaic%20cells.&text=This%20all%20adds%20up%20to,junction%20between%20the%20silicon%20layers.

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